Nourishing Flourishing

Salsa Verde

8 Mar

Meet my little friend: the tomatillo.

Have you seen these before in the store, or at a farmer’s market, and cowered in fear? Or slowly backed away, hoping the intimidating, bizarre, foreign freak of the vegetable aisle didn’t catch you looking at it?

Fear not. Just like baby-making was a mysterious, frightening process we weren’t supposed to know about as kids, this salsa-making process turns out to be less complicated – and a lot more fun – than you anticipated.

…cough… (Sorry, Dad…)

Yes, beneath that weird, loose, papery skin is a green gem. It’s also a little sticky. But don’t let that deter you! All you need to make this seemingly intimidating, but beautifully simple sauce is a few ingredients. It’s a chance to be adventurous, but not “I-think-I’ll-take-up-naked-bull-running-in-Spain” adventurous. I’ll even help. Promise.

How to find a good tomatillo:
- make sure the papery husk is still green, and is not peeled

- firm
- not squishy, wet, brown, or yellow

Don’t freak out if you don’t really know what you’re doing in the market. Be sociable and ask someone, or just grab and hope. It’ll be fine. Also, if you are not used to heat, go with an Anaheim chili, and remove the seeds. (For help picking chilies, click here.)

Recipe (ish):
1 ½ – 2 lbs of tomatillos
1 large onion (I like red for kick)
3-6 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 green chili peppers (Jalapeño, Anaheim, Serrano, etc.)
1 bunch cilantro
Salt + Pepper
Juice of ½ a lime

- Peel husks off tomatillos. They are sticky underneath; just run under some water.

– Cut your onion into fourths.
– Cut your chili in half, remove the seeds (if needed), and cut in half again.
– Place whole tomatillos, onion, chili, and whole peeled garlic cloves in a dry pan.
– Turn stove heat to medium. Let a little char develop on each, and flip, or stir.

- After you have some black on the other side, remove the pan from the burner.
- Get your blender out. You may want to let these cool, as the ingredients are steaming hot. I’m impatient, so I just go with it. I like to live dangerously.
– Throw in some tomatillos, garlic, and onion. Whir it up.


– Once ingredients are looking blended and chunky (your call on how chunky), throw in some cilantro. Whir it.


– Repeat this process until everything is…well, processed!
– Place the salsa in the pan. Stir in the lime juice.
– Salt and pepper to your taste. If you like, you can cook it on medium on the stove to blend the flavors.

(Printer-Friendly Version)

What these pictures lack in skill, the salsa verde totally makes up for in flavor. Trust me. You’ll forgive my lack of lighting when you taste it. We serve our tomatillo salsa verde with chips, eggs (–> the absolute best way), quesadillas, enchiladas, beans, burritos, on pizza, and as a soup (with some added ingredients).

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13 Responses to “Salsa Verde”

  1. Thomas March 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    I love salsa verde! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. LauraJayne March 8, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I love cilantro – I read the other day that some people have super-sensitive taste buds and the flavor of cilantro tastes like soap to them! I’ve decided that might be the saddest thing I’ve heard so far this month. Aside from genocide and other world peace issues, of course! This recipe looks amazing!

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing March 10, 2011 at 1:22 am #

      Good points all around LauraJayne : ) Indeed, my dad is one of those cilantro super-tasters — so unfortunate! I can’t imagine. It tastes like quintessential “fresh” to me!

  3. Gini K March 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    How exciting! It’s great to see your smiling face and the foods that you are sharing. Enjoy this great new venture!

  4. Val @ Balancing Val March 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    This looks good!

    I love when bloggers use fruits veggies or grains that people normally wouldnt. :)

  5. Noelle March 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    When are tomatillos in season? Might they find their way to Minot?

    • Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing March 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      Hmm….from what I find, the growing season is May-October. But in honesty, I find them always “in season” (ha) at the grocery store. If you have trouble locating them, perhaps try a Mexican/ethnic store (if you have one)? Usually they are hidden away in the produce.

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